Lake Placid Middle, High School Science Olympiad teams will compete in Syracuse

LAKE PLACID — Science teams from Lake Placid schools are going to compete at the statewide level.

The Lake Placid High School team will be competing in the state Science Olympiad tournament on March 13-14 at LeMoyne College in Syracuse. The Middle School team will compete on April 17-18 at East Syracuse-Minoa High School in Syracuse.

On Jan. 25, the Lake Placid Middle and High School Science Olympiad Teams competed in the Science Olympiad Adirondack Regional event, hosted by Plattsburgh High School. The Lake Placid Middle School team placed first, and the High School team placed second, just behind Plattsburgh.

Science Olympiad is a national competition. At the state level, the competition attracted more than 500 high schools and over 400 middle school teams.

The competition includes 23 different events at both the middle and high school levels, The events were in three categories: Test, Build and Hybrid. Testing events ranged from astronomy and ornithology to water quality. Building events required students to build devices in advance, then put them to the test at the competition.

Middle schoolers Charlie Wilson and Henry Loher built a bottle rocket with a parachute system that kept a ping-pong ball payload aloft as long as possible. Their time beat the middle school teams and all of the participating high school teams.

Middle school student Holly Erenstone built a Rube Goldberg device to compete in the Mission Possible event. Her machine had to move a golf ball through several different systems, knocking down dominoes and flipping levers, before finally coming to rest perfectly balanced on a golf tee.

In the high school events, David Koenig built a car powered only by gravity that braked within a few centimeters of its target after traveling 12 meters. In the Hybrid event, Ellen Lansing and Gunnar Anthony built a two-lever balance system that had to quickly and accurately determine the weight ratios between several different masses — for the gold medal win.

The high school team was intent on beating the Canton team, who had prevailed over Lake Placid by one spot earlier in the year at the Columbia Invitational. The team was happy to come home with the win. The middle school team featured Brian Brady with an outstanding five-gold-medal win.

High school team Captain John Brownell said, “I can’t express how proud I am of the team. We’re looking forward to learning more in preparation for states, and we can’t wait to compete against the best teams New York has to offer. This is about two things, learning science and working as a team.”